The Longing to Make a Deep and Lasting Impact
"Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master." Matthew 25:21
People often ask a common question when it looks like their time on earth is drawing to a close — ”Did my life matter?” Have you ever wondered that? Have you ever taken a minute to look back on your life and wonder if all your efforts will mean a thing when you’re gone?
We all dream of being a great success. No children playing sports in their backyard fantasize about hanging up the towel after high school. They dream of making it pro. No musician dreams about playing to a handful of people. They see themselves on a massive stage in front of thousands of screaming fans. We all have a longing to make an impact in this world. We all desire to make a difference to the degree that we will be remembered when we’re gone.
God designed us all with this longing while having the perfect plan to satisfy it. The problem is that we have twisted what success really looks like. We’ve made success into something prideful—an idea constrained to the ways of this world. We’ve been living under the notion that making an impact is all about ourselves. You see, making a lasting impact doesn’t necessarily mean you’re known by the entire population, have books written about you, or are even a success at all in the eyes of the world. Success is solely defined by God and solely achieved by your faithfulness to whatever he has called you to. You are meant for the impact that faithfulness to God brings, not an impact wrought with struggle for achievement by the world’s standards.
The Bible clearly defines success as being faithful to what God has spoken. In Matthew 25:21 God says, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” Your desire to make an impact will only be satisfied by living in obedience to God’s will for you. It’s his plan we’re all a part of, not our own. God has brought us into the glorious narrative that has been playing out from the foundation of the earth. Being faithful to your page in God’s grand narrative has an eternal impact more important and long-lasting than anything you could achieve on your own. One day, all of the grand stories of what mankind has done in pursuit of our own glory will be brought to nothing. One King will stand above all. Jesus Christ will be given his reward, and we will reign alongside him forever.
Choose to make an impact for eternity today. Be faithful first to love God and then to love others with compassion and humility. You have a chance to lead people into eternal life. You have a chance to store up your treasure in heaven where moth and rust will not destroy (Matthew 6:19-20). You have a chance today to make a deep and lasting impact beyond anything you could imagine. Allow God to define your identity and purpose. Experience the joy and fulfillment that can only be found in wholehearted communion with your heavenly Father.
1. Take a moment to reflect on the life of Jesus. Allow what Scripture says about Jesus to establish a true definition of success.
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-8
2. Take a moment to surrender your notion of success and impact, and center your life around God’s truth.
3. What plans does God have for you today? How can you love him and others well? In what way can you impact eternity?
Jesus is the perfect example of what it looks like to make a lasting impact because he was wholly surrendered to the will of the Father. At the end of his ministry, he had only a few followers that stood by him. He never wrote a book or even traveled more than a few hundred miles from where he was born. Rather than considering him successful, the world killed him. But he made the biggest impact of anyone in all of history. Live like Jesus today. Live solely for the opinion of God, and find your satisfaction in being faithful to what he has called you to. May your day be filled with the abundant life that comes from surrender to the perfect plans of God.
Extended Reading: Matthew 25
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